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Pt.6 On spiritual Gifts

The gifts are listed as the Lord took great care to communicate what they are. If one has a gift so different than what is listed, it needs to be scrutinized. If its function or application is different, it needs to be rejected not accepted. For example since Paul (or John) went to heaven and one says they have the gift of travelling to heaven, this should not be accepted because one found a rare and unique example from apostle[s].

Another example there is no gift of walking on water or levitating. Peter did this temporarily, never repeated this and no other apostle ever did this.

Rom. 12:6-9 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”

In chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians Paul speaks on the purpose of spiritual gifts and have no hypocrisy.  How we are to be one body and not make any one gift more important. In fact he says in v: 15-18 “If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? In other words the least should not be seen as not important as another, God put them there.

V:25-27 “that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”

 This is how you know if a church is functioning in love and has true unity.

Before Paul describes the gifts and their functions he speaks of love chpt.13. The gifts of the spirit are connected to the fruit of the spirit, which is love.

In a strong admonishment, even rebuke, Paul sets things in order:

1 Cor. 13:1-3 ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”

 These are the areas he covers: tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith and giving. And sums it up that that one must have love or… he is nothing. In other words, it’s not worthy of Christ, it will not be rewarded.

1 Cor. 14:1 “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”

 Paul is speaking to the church collectively not as individuals, this is how they are to operate by love and desire to see the gifts in operation. A spiritual gift is not limited to a certain church or place, it can be used anywhere.

Let’s look at the gifts in two categories, practical functional gifts and supernatural gifts. This will better our understanding of the application of the gifts today.

We first need to understand no church can function well, exhibit Christ to others without the practical gifts in operation

The Practical Gifts

HOSPITALITY (philoxenos) – to be generous to guests, known and unknown.

The gift of hospitality is the special ability to provide a warm welcome or an open house to those who are in need in both speaking serving. We are all told to be hospitable

1 Peter 4:8-10 “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

This is an especially required for an elder.

1 Tim 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach.

Titus 1:7-8 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled.”

SERVING (diakonian) ministering to others

Deacon- One who fulfills the commands of another, showing servanthood, the gift of ministry or service.

Root word: diako - to hasten after, pursue. This is where we get the word deacon which means "servant". Serving others is a spiritual gift. Since the office of a deacon is an office of serving, one who holds the office of a deacon should have the gift of serving, that is also in helping the elders abd others.

In Acts 6 Philip was recognized to have the gift of serving and took the office of a deacon in the church.

We are all to be serving in some capacity Col 1:7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf.” 4:7 Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me.

GIVING (metadidomi) to share with or to impart to others in need

 Rom. 12:8 he who gives, with liberality”

Contributing to the work of the Lord: It does not matter how much you have, we are commanded to support the weak and those in need both as a church and as individuals. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Giving means to meet others need and it is not limited to money. It can be sacrificial giving or from excess from what God has blessed you with.  We should not depend on the church to do this if we see a need, we should try to meet it ourselves.

Those who have this gift do it liberally without expecting anything in return. Some people who have this gift give away far more than 10 percent of their income to those who work in ministry, not just to the church. One having this gift has an exceptional ability to contribute to the work of the Lord.

HELPING (aptilepsis) a helping, supporting, to bring relief  1 Cor. 12:28

In Acts 20:35 the same verb is used when it says you are to help the weak, which is a theme from the Old Testament as well. It implies the rendering of assistance, especially to the weak or needy. The gift of helps is more on a personal level with individuals you may or may not know. While service is often to a church. The gifts of help goes to both outside and inside the church. It is often seen to those homeless and hungry on the street.

MERCY – (Eleeo) - to be compassionate (by word or deed, specially, by divine grace):

1) to have mercy on  2) to help one afflicted or seeking aid

Rom 12:8 he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Those who are given the gift of mercy are able to build up a member with encouraging or helping their spiritual and physical needs, making them comfortable at their most uncomfortable time.

To extend compassion to those who are in need, those forgotten or neglected. You don’t have to wait for another to help, or get approval you immediately see the need and fill it.

It is finding a way to care for the physical and emotional needs of others (Acts 9), reaching out and comforting the sick and needy. Those who have this gift do it willingly and with joy. Every church needs this to be operating among them to be healthy.

Mercy means to give ones time to the other without asking anything in return, they love ministering in this way.

Phil 2:1 “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy”

Mercy from God often means withheld judgment. Eph. 2:4-5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.”

Paul uses himself as having been a recipient of God’s mercy in 1 Tim. 1:13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”

SINGLENESS -  1 Cor.7:17 To give up certain things to be able to devote ones whole time to the work of the Lord. Marriage would hinder their calling. God gives them the grace to be single, having their bodies under his control and to minister where he would direct them to.

Paul speaks of his singleness and states his hope for others 1 Cor. 7:7: “For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.”

ADMINISTRATION (kubarnesis) governing, governments  - 1 Cor. 12:27-31

The gift of administration is to put things in order, to see ahead to understand the immediate and long range goals and to devise and execute plans for the accomplishment of those goals all done in order.

The position of an elder should have this gift of administration to some capacity.

LEADERSHIP (proistamenos) to stand before; to preside or rule – Romans 12:8 “he who leads, with diligence

Proistemi means to set or to place before a) to set over b) to be over, to superintend, to preside over c) to be a protector or guardian (to give aid)  d) to care for, to give attention to profess honest occupations

The Gift to lead means to be able to organize or delegate to produce a better functioning ministry or church. It is becoming a visible example to others. Paul said to imitate me as I imitate Christ.

The gift of leadership is the special ability to assume responsibility and it is seen by other people willing to follow without coercion or manipulation. If one wants to be a leader they must be humble and a willing servant. They are to be quick to listen and slow to speak and especially not become angry in the flesh. They do not draw attention to themselves, and consider the lesson said from Jesus

Matt 23:11-12 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Not acting as the world does, which can be applied to various other gifts.

EXHORTATION (parakaleo)

To call to one's side, to call for, to summon 2) to address, to speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc. a) to admonish, to exhort b) to beg, to entreat, to beseech, to strive to appease by entreaty c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort, to receive consolation, to be comforted d) to encourage, to strengthen e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging f) to instruct, to teach

Rom 12:8 he who exhorts, in exhortation (this gift can be in both categories of practical and supernatural)

This can be done individually or to the church through teaching.

It is a calling to one's side to give aid or comfort; an appeal with instruction. Same root word which is given to the Holy Spirit (comforter) It is the divine ability to get people to apply the truth to action.

The gift of exhortation is the special ability to appeal to one's behavior in a way that it comforts when needed, encourages and instructs him in righteousness. This gift is essential in the body of Christ for health.

1Thes 5:14-15 “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.”

1 Tim 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.

Hear we see this gift in action to the church.

Heb. 12:5-6 “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;  For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives."

Heb. 13:22 “And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.”

The purpose of the gifts is to equip the church so they can do the ministry and show Jesus being among them. As we can see from the various examples they are love in action. Again if these gifts are not active then love is missing. We do not need a church board to vote on what to do, but if you see a need you try to be the one to be used of the Lord.

 1 Cor.12:14 we are to have unity and a healthy body because all parts of the body are active.

 The gifts bear witness not to us, but to Jesus who is working within us, to others.  As Jesus said in John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." It is there to touch other people’s lives.

Each gift is used for different ministry. Your gift, not matter how insignificant you think it is, is absolutely essential to the healthy functioning of the body of Christ (Cor. 12:14-18). A reminder, spiritual gifts do not indicate spiritual maturity. The fruit of the Spirit shows this better than one functioning in a gift. We grow in both, it is a process as we walk with the Lord pursuing to do his will.

p.7 the supernatural gifts

 

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